Wednesday, August 1, 2007

"Loved Once"

I read this last night and it reminded me of my previous post. As Anya said, in her response to that post, "God commands us to love... that command wouldn't even make sense if love was simply an emotion. Sometimes it is good to put concious effort into loving people who are hard to love." Very good point, Anya.
"I classed, appraising once,
Earth's lamentable sounds, - the welladay,
The jarring yea and nay,
The fall of kisses on unanswering clay,
The sobbed farewell, the welcome mournfuller,-
But all did leaven the air
With a less bitter leaven of sure despair
Than these words- "I loved ONCE."
And who saith "I loved ONCE"?
Not angels- whose clear eyes, love, love forsee,
Love, through eternity,
And by To Love do apprehend To Be.
Not God, called LOVE, His noble crown-name, casting
A light too broad for blasting!
The great God changing not from everlasting,
Saith never, "I loved ONCE."

Oh never is "Loved Once" Thy word,
Thou Victim-Christ, misprized friend!
Thy cross and curse may rend,
But having loved Thou lovest to the end.
This is man's saying - man's. Too weak to move
One sphered star above,
Man desecrates the eternal God-word Love
By his No More, and Once.

How say ye "We loved once,"
Blasphemers? Is your earth not cold enow,
Mourners, without that snow?
Ah, friends! and would ye wrong each other so?
And could ye say of some whose love is known,
Whose prayers have met your own,
Whose tears have fallen for you, whose smiles have shone
So long, - "We loved them ONCE"?

Could ye "We loved her once"
Say calm of me, sweet friends, when out of sight?
When hearts of better right
Stand in between me and your happy light?
Or when, as flowers kept too long in the shade,
Ye find my colours fade,
And all that is not love in me, decayed?
Such words- Ye loved me ONCE!

Could ye "We loved her once"
Say cold of me when further put away
In earth's sepulchral clay, -
When mute the lips which deprecate to-day?
Not so! not then -least then.
When life is shriven,
Of those who sit and love you up in Heaven,
Say not, "We loved them once."

Say never, ye loved ONCE.
God is too near above, the grave, beneath,
And all our moments breathe
Too quick in mysteries of life and death,
For such a word. The eternities avenge
Affections of light range.
There comes no change to justify that change,
Whatever comes - Loved ONCE.

And yet that same word ONCE
Is humanly acceptive. Kings have said,
Shaking a discrowned head,
"We ruled once," - dotards, "We taught once and led."
Cripples once danced i' the vines- and bards approved
Were once by scornings moved:
But love strikes one hour - LOVE! those never loved
Who dream that they loved ONCE."
-Elizabeth Barret Browning

Seize The Day!


Anya said...

In a quick reply to your comment... actually... no, I didn't write the car crash one! That was my younger sister, Atara. =)

Have a wonderful day,

totustuus said...

Your literacy in poetry is makes me feel like I don't read enough. ;-) Elizabeth Barret Browning is a good choice, my dad has some older volumes of her collections that he got from auctions. He and I both share the love of collecting books (and reading them of course).

I love your week's quote, of course, GK Chesterton is a favorite. I love his theological works most of all, some people fail to realize that he was a Catholic (as I am). He very heavily influenced CS Lewis; perhaps that is why I like Lewis so much. ;-)

No galu govad gen mellon nin,

StrongJoy said...


Thanks for taking the time to leave such a nice response.

My Dad also likes Elizabeth Barret Browning and that is why I have taken an interest in her poetry. I've liked "Idols" since I was very young but lately I've been perusing some of her other works and found them to be very interesting.

And yes, I really like Chesterton as well. I haven't read much of his theological writings but, as you know, I LOVE his book, "The Ballad Of The White Horse" and I also appreciate his skillful way of explaining things in a sophisticated but clear way.

Seize The Day!